NOT James Harden: Analyst Names Second-Best Scorer in NBA Behind Kevin Durant




Many in the NBA circle believe Kevin Durant to be the greatest scorer in the game today. He combines the mobility of a guard and the height of a center to wreak havoc on defenses. And now a young Boston superstar is wielding comparisons to him with his similar skillset.

Jayson Tatum put on a show against the Los Angeles Lakers last night. He regularly sent Anthony Davis out for a spin when going against him one-on-one. NBA Analyst Kendrick Perkins was effusive in his praise for Tatum after the Boston Celtics‘ narrow 95-96 defeat against the Lakers, where he scored 30 points on a highly efficient 66.7% shooting from the floor and likewise from the three-point line.

“I keep saying is that Jayson Tatum is probably the best scorer in the game today, right under Kevin Durant. Offensively, he has zero flaws. There’s nothing that he can’t do and no one could stop him,” Perk said after the game on NBC Sports Boston.

Why is Jayson Tatum better offensively than James Harden and just behind Kevin Durant?

Though not everyone may be too pleased with his assessment, The Beard won the scoring title in the last three seasons. Hence, most critics even make an argument for him being the best scorer in the NBA today, even over KD.

Jan 22, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) brings the ball up court during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

So why does Perkins believe that JT is a better offensive option than him?

“He is, because James Harden, he does a great job of as far as getting to the free-throw line. But when you talk about just a guy that could go get a bucket, we don’t see James Harden pulling up from mid-range shots. We don’t see James Harden going to the low block and having fadeaways and turn arounds over both shoulders.”

Jan 8, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Also, most of his individual stats were also down to the iso-plays that the Rockets ran for him under Mike D’Antoni. Whereas, Tatum’s 6ft 9-inch stature allows him to have a better post-up game than Harden. He has more variety in the paint.

But what about their individual abilities from the perimeter? “Jayson Tatum could pull up for three just like James Harden can.” Perk is spot on; he is an equally adept three-point shooter, if not better, as the stat below suggests.

The 2017 draft pick’s game is going leap and bounds. He is already carrying the hopes of the Green at just 22 years of age. So, by the time that dust settles down, he can go down as one of the most elite scorers this game has ever seen.

Read MoreWATCH: How a Beardless James Harden was Hyped up Before His Draft Night in 2009

Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops